When I have tried to change the name of my hard drive which my photos and catalog are stored on, when I try and access the new catalog in the new destination yet still same physical hard drive it unlinks all the photos and the folder structure.
Any way to keep the photos or at least the year folders so as to more easily relink?
In the Library module, in the Folders tab on the left, do a right-click "show parent" until you can see the root of the drive.
From there, if you cannot rename the drive from there, then rename it in the OS finder/explorer. Then you just need to reconnect that one root directory or drive entry and Lightroom will do all the work for you.